Venus Awards National Finals
Deserving Venus National Winners join an exclusive and elite bunch—crowned from the cream of the crop, they compete across the national landscape of Venus Winners in their specific categories.
We’re excited to announce, that this year’s National Finals Ceremony will be held on the 7th July at Audleys Wood in Basingstoke, a superb Hand Picked Hotel.
Meet our National Winners from 2015
Katy Handley-Quint – New Business
The Pink Partybox Company – Southampton
After a bustling career in finance Katy launched her own clothing label PINKS. Katy’s designs offer unique, fun and funky styling exclusively for girls 0-13 years. PINKS is entirely inspired by her own 3 little girls and Katy opened her first family run boutique in Southampton in 2014. Katy’s personal customer service style coupled with affordable quality and beautiful styling for girls has taken PINKS from strength to strength with her designs now hitting catwalks across the south of England.
Katy Handley-Quint is a vivacious and energetic mother of 3 girls and after choosing to leave a buzzing career in finance to pursue her dreams Katy has found the ideal work life balance. With the support of her family, Katy has reached for the stars and is now the author of ‘the baby instruction manual’, ‘the gift bible’ and has also launched her own children’s clothing brand PINKS (The Pink Party Box Company) entirely inspired by her own 3 girls.
Alongside this Katy opened her first boutique in Southampton this year showing that the sky really is the limit with her designs hitting catwalks across the South of England. Even the store opening hours reflect that family always comes first without a hockey match or swimming gala being missed yet.
Katy is very passionate to support local and showcases designs from other mothers ‘home-businesses’ in store and also supports the local neonatal unit within her extensive charity work but nothing offers more pleasure though than a simple home cooked family roast dinner followed by an afternoon walking their dog in the New Forest.
Amber-Lauren Ballantyne-Styles – Young Entrepreneur of the Year
Amber-Lauren Fine Art – Oxfordshire
Venus Awards, Oxford Youth Awards and Prince’s Trust visualised the potential of A-LFA in 2014. My National/Global charity work impacts my success massively. October sales at my first solo London show of art and ‘wearable art’ sales exceeded £6.5K!
I’m immensely proud of my Venus Award for Oxford’s Young Entrepreneur. I’ve received the backing of The Prince’s Trust and personal correspondence from Prince Charles congratulating me on the success of Amber-Lauren Fine Art. I’m in the process of becoming an Ambassador for The Trust. In addition, I won the title of Art Superstar at the Oxford Youth Awards last April.
As well as sales and 7 commissions of my art in 2014, I launched my first collection of ‘wearable art’ scarves. I’m very patriotic and proud that my products are manufactured in GB.
My client and endorsement list includes Pirelli F1 Motorsport, Sir Richard Branson, Sonia Meaden MBE (mother of Dragon Deborah) and art collector, property developer and former ‘Bond Girl’ actress, Fiona Fullerton. Charity work is hugely important to me and has helped raise my profile and sales. I’ve donated art to B-eat, Bow Arts Trust, Rays of Sunshire, The Marsden, Tower Project, Royal British Legion and The Prince’s Trust, which have raised thousands for very worthy causes. I’m currently painting a portrait of Sir Roger Moore and Fiona Fullerton from “A View to a Kill”, which will be auctioned in aid of UNICEF in 2015.
Pam Bates – Lifetime of Achievement
Countess Mountbatten Hospice Charity – Southampton
Pam Bates, mother of four is an amazing, adventurous flirtatious infectious woman. She was the first woman Auxiliary with the Automobile Association and produced the first fashion shows at Hampton Court Palace Flower Show. She restored an abandoned Italian farm to become a hotel, scouted for Storm Models, lectures and mentors; is a passionate fundraiser and is considered extremely business savvy.
Pam has had an amazing life and adventurous career
• PA Laker Airways, first woman Auxiliary for the Automobile Association
• Four children & married 37 years until death of husband from cancer 2011
• 2002 bought abandoned farm Italy – restored as country hotel, 8th on trip advisor , taught in Italian schools
• Made 3 reality shows (Channel 4, BBC 1 & Channel 5) about life in Italy – regular on Radio Solent to support Countess Mountbatten Hospice Charity
• Established variety of businesses – Event Company & Model Agency, International Freight & Trading, Training Business for Army, Country House Hotel in Italy
• Organised events at Earls Court, Excel, NEC, Olympia
• Produced first fashion shows at Hampton court palace flower show & Ideal Home Show London/Glasgow
• Scouted Storm Models Mens’
• Inspired Year 6 news team at Junior School
• Raised £26,000 for Thornden school in 2.5 weeks by telephone for specialist school bid
• Set up AFC Hiltingbury in 1989 – now 21 teams. Qualified FA referee
• Guest lecturer and mentor students solent uni
• Fundraising and PR Manager, passionately working for Countess Mountbatten Hospice Charity tasked to find £260,000 from £1 million annual target
Anna-lee Kewley – New Media
Baby Moo’s – Dorset
Started with a tiny £230 in 2010 & a new baby in tow, Anna’s business has attracted attention from all top baby media brands & such celebs as Kirsty Allsop & the late Peaches Geldof & now has stockists worldwide!
“Having noticed a gap in the market for affordable and funky baby clothes, Anna launched the first website in 2010 with a tiny £230 stocking imported baby wear. From 2011, the Baby Moo’s website boasted Anna’s own handmade creations and sales really took off, gaining attention from all the top baby media brands & celebrities such as the late Peaches Geldof & Kirsty Allsop, In 2012 Anna looked to start using factories to make her designs, Anna’s designs are now manufactured between 3 factories, In the UK, Turkey & India.
Having no prior website or online marketing knowledge when she started Anna is now a self-confessed geek when it comes to online marketing, SEO & conversion optimisation, still choosing to do this herself, with a ever growing Facebook community of over 55.5k fans & a large followings on Pinterest & Twitter & boasting Google first page rankings on popular keyphrases such as funky baby clothes, cool baby clothes & cute baby clothes.
With humorous bibs displaying messages such as “These fools put my cape on backwards”, Anna’s garments inject some personality into baby wear and are available in bright and varied colours, What could you do with £230?”
Rachel Lowe MBE – Influential Woman
Rachel Lowe MBE
She Who Dares – Portsmouth
Rachel has achieved many great things in the Toy Industry with her Destination board games brand, and also the Beauty Industry with SHE WHO DARES fragrance and accessories brand. In 2009 Rachel was awarded an MBE for Services to Business.
Rachel Lowe is a business woman who has been through a rollercoaster journey over the past decade.
Rachel has achieved many great things in both the Toy Industry Sector with her Destination board games brand and also the Beauty Industry with her SHE WHO DARES fine fragrance and accessories brand.
Rachel has worked with the likes of Walt Disney, Warner Bros and NBC Universal. The Downton Abbey edition of her game has this year broken into America and she has also just signed a contract for Australia and New Zealand. Destination London 10th Anniversary edition, sponsored by John Lewis, celebrates Rachel’s 10 year journey.
Her SHE WHO DARES brand is all about acknowledging and celebrating women and she has developed a unique gift range of bath, body and fine fragrance products. An exciting time is planned with top London stores for 2015.
Rachel is passionate about supporting the UK economy. Her entire product range for SHE WHO DARES fragrance, bath & body are made right here in the United Kingdom.
Rachel was awarded an MBE for Services to Business at Buckingham Palace, something she is incredibly proud of. Her motto is “Never give up… Nothing is impossible”.
Charlotte Cardosi – Employee of the Year
Charlotte oozes warmth, friendliness and professionalism and is dedicated to be the best in her field. She has attended over 90 hours of post graduate training and holistic treatment qualifications. She consistently exceeds expectations, providing an exceptional service to her clients making her the incredible loyal employee that she is.
On completion of my NVQ Level 3 in Beauty Therapy in 2011 I was proudly awarded \’Student of the Year\’ and also joined My Beauty Room as a Beauty Therapist.
My Beauty Room was established in 1996 and is a highly successful business.
During my time at My Beauty Room I have achieved Expert Status with Dermalogica after attending over 90 hours of post graduate training. I have also achieved further NVQ\’s in Intimate Waxing and Reflexology which means I offer a wide range of treatments to my clients. Training and development is extremely important and helps me to offer a number of treatments to a very high standard. My communication and customer care skills are something that I am regularly given positive feedback on and has been a contributing factor for gaining a loyal client base over the past 3 years.
Ulrika Dandekar RIP – Special Woman Award
Ulrika Dandekar RIP
Ulrika, known as Riya, was just 21 years old when she passed away on 31st December 2014 after fighting a rare type of blood cancer. However, her work campaigning for stem cell donors will continue. Previously, she was extremely active and ambitious, wanting to go to medical school to become a life saver. Ulrika was, and still is, a massive inspiration to many people and it was her ongoing fight and ambition that led her to be crowned Influential Woman of the Year at the 2014 Venus Awards in Birmingham.
Riya’s mother Dr Ursula Bahalkar paid an emotional tribute to her ‘beautiful butterfly’…”Riya’s legacy, we hope, will have been to raise awareness of how simple, quick and painless it is to register on-line and potentially save a life.
I want everyone out there to register in Riya’s memory – it is a New Year resolution everyone can keep”
To register or find out more please visit: http://www.anthonynolan.org/
Sally Allen-Gerard – Lifetime of Excellence
Glamour2Go Ltd T/A WIZARD JEANS – Devon
For 30+ years Sally ran her marketing/publicity agencies with major blue chip clients working with President Clinton, Francois Pienaar, David Frost and many more. In 2009 Sally created Wizard Jeans now with global sales & distribution plus a new fashion outlet in Torquay.
Sally has a wealth of experience in marketing, sponsorship, publicity and international event origination and management for international blue chip organizations.
After 3 years in Barbados running her own boat business, in 1983 Sally became Financial Controller for the National Cricket Association at Lord’s – the first ever female executive in cricket!
In 1987 Sally co-founded Allen Mantle International a sports marketing and PR agency.
Sally evolved AMI into Compass PR & Marketing providing clients with marketing and communication initiatives through sports, the arts, leisure, education and charity. Sally was retained as a consultant by blue chips, the media, political and trade organisations, charities and sports governing bodies. Sally raised the £3m+ sponsorship money to enable the building of the NatWest Media Centre at Lord’s.
In October 2009, Sally brought President Bill Clinton to London to speak at a charity event. Hosted by Sir David Frost the evening raised major charitable funds.
Clients included: Guinness, NatWest Bank, Mitsubishi, MCC, HarperCollins, Mirror Group Newspapers, Sandals Resorts, Buxton Water, The FA, Football League, Highland Spring, Daewoo, Laurent Perrier Champagne, Wines From Spain, Texaco and charities – Sally launched Children in Crisis for The Duchess of Yor
Kim Brown – Professional Category
Nature Therapy CIC – Portsmouth
Dr Kim Brown is the Founder Director of Nature Therapy CIC, a not for profit social enterprise aimed at nourishing minds through nature. She is passionate about ensuring everyone, whatever their circumstances, has the opportunity to enhance their wellbeing through interaction with the natural world.
Nature Therapy CIC was born from Kim’s own experiences of caring for a family member with dementia. Using her vast professional experience gained from over 40 years of nursing, midwifery, project management and research, she started the enterprise by working alongside people with conditions that alter sensory perception – like dementia, autism and post traumatic stress disorder. In this way Kim was able to create meaningful programmes and resources to enhance the lives of those who would otherwise experience sensory deprivation.
Her work now includes teaching carers and professionals about the impact of sensory deprivation and how they can use the free resource of nature to enrich lives. Sensory deprivation is known as ‘white torture’ and can happen automatically in some conditions. The effects include hallucinations, sleep disorders, withdrawal, isolation, depression, agitation and aggression. Research evidence clearly demonstrates that the work Nature Therapy CIC undertakes makes a difference to these symptoms.
More recently Kim expanded her work into Europe through opening a Nature Therapy Retreat in the mountains of Portugal. The Retreat offers training and workshops on nature therapy and also acts as a centre for wilderness work with ex members of the armed forces experiencing post traumatic stress disorder.
Kerry Herbert – Home Based Business
Stand Up Marketing – Charity Chuckle – Brighton & Sussex
Kerry is a proud Mum and businesswoman. She worked in book publishing for over 15 years, getting to the head of her game before setting up her own comedy marketing business. She is co-promoter of the most successful comedy fundraiser in Sussex.
In a book publishing career spanning two decades, Kerry Herbert reached an Executive level, becoming Marketing Manager of Routledge Mental Health and Guilford Press, then Head of Marketing at Book Guild.
And then she had a change of life experience: someone in a pub told her she was funny.
Kerry performed in pubs, clubs and at the Brighton, Edinburgh and Leicester Comedy Festivals. From gigging, she was asked to co-promote a Brighton club night, Charity Chuckle, and using all her marketing skills and newfound love of stand-up, she helped to turn it into the most successful comedy fundraiser on the South Coast. Since 2009, she has helped to raise over £15,000 for small local charities, produced a 9-show run at the Edinburgh Festival, and booked artists such as Stewart Lee, Al Murray and Zoe Lyons, as well as finding the best up-and-coming talent.
Transferring performance skills to promotion, Kerry set up Stand-Up Marketing in 2011 and worked alongside comedy clients to increase their profile and get great reviews.
Whether it’s booking stand-up comedy for a Company Event or managing the promotion of a show, Kerry can do it!
Rebecca Tregarthen – Networker Category
rejoove Ltd – Bristol & Somerset
Rebecca’s spent 20 years developing relationships and winning work within the construction industry and now runs her own Business Development consultancy, rejoove ltd. She’s the first woman Chairman of the Bristol branch of the IoD.
“Rejoove ltd is my own company, set up 5 years ago. I work mainly within the construction industry and networking is at the heart of everything my business does; generating work for clients, new markets for exploration, bespoke portfolios and also very lateral ideas for competitive advantage.
Much of my time is spent in strategic analysis and finding solutions utilising networks and great contacts built up over 20 years of professional business activity across retail, education and all sectors in between.
I’ve worked specifically to advocate and heighten the profile of women in construction through my past position as Chairman of the Association of Women in Property (SW) and, most recently, young people in the workplace in conjunction with other organisations in business and education. My aim is to open up doors of opportunity, introduce people to places and projects and to spread the word about business at an early stage in careers.
I’m currently Chairman of the Institute of Directors in Bristol, with 500 members in the area; I ensure that we are at the forefront of business leadership and recently was invited to Downing Street to discuss issues as part of a delegation with the Prime Minister.”
Nicole Flanagan – Employer Category
Vagabonds Milkshake Bar – Devon
Nicole Flanagan is a young, bubbly and confident business woman who injects not only fun but a strong positive attitude to the way in which her business operates which has a strong influence on her staff, providing them with a positive influence to work from a young age
Nicole Flanagan’s business Vagabonds Milkshake Bar provides the perfect stepping stone for work for many individuals as it not only covers retail experience but catering experience as well. By using positive reinforcement and reward scheme Nicole Flanagan ensures that every member of the team feels valued, not afraid to get her hands dirty Nicole is always in the midst of the action within the business ensuring that staff members feel supported and have a strong role model amongst them.
Nicole does not only focus on her own business and staff but provides advice for her customers looking for work on how to write suitable CV’s, and places that are hiring which has been well received by the secondary children that frequently visit her establishment, as well as providing her help Nicole’s business participates in work experience for secondary school children.
A management training course is now being poised to start for one of Nicole Flanagan’s members of staff who has expressed a keen interest in business management after working closely alongside Nicole. With the business expanding within 2015 more fantastic opportunities are awaiting members of the team and the public.
Nancy Hunt – Inspirational Woman
The Nasio Trust – Oxfordshire
Kenyan born, founder director, a charity which has grown from humble beginnings now provides education, food, healthcare to over 370 HIV orphaned and disadvantaged children in Kenya and works with disadvantage UK young people to transform their lives.
Nancy Hunt is the inspirational co-founder of the Nasio Trust. She has devoted her whole life to saving and improving lives of orphaned children in Kenya, her passion, determination and drive has impacted on the lives of many children and adults in Kenya and the UK.
Fleur Christacos – International Business
Fleur of England – Bristol & Somerset
Fleur describes herself as an extremely passionate person who is easily inspired, which she says is a gift. SHe feels blessed to be able to juggle her two worlds of feminine lingerie and mummy to two active little boys. She is either flying to Paris to research fabrics or playing pirates in the woods. Fleur says, “As strange as it sounds it works.”
Simone Thomas – Marketing & PR Award
MWAH and Hair Loss Bournemouth – Dorset
Simone previously had a career in TV, film and magazine modelling in her early 20’s and knows all too well the trauma of hair loss, having lost her hair twice. As a result she has put her empathy to great use by setting up a business creating hair pieces and wigs for women who have lost their hair and are looking for products that are free of any parabens and are glue and adhesive free.
Having opened what is now one of the region’s most popular hair and beauty salons, Simone has also reinvested heavily into the company, launching two supplementary businesses: Hair Loss Bournemouth – helping those who have lost their hair due to cancer and other medical reasons – and Wigs by Simone, offering only the most stylish wigs to her discerning client base.
Lisa Scott – Customer Service Award
John Pounds Community Trust – Portsmouth
Lisa has faced many challenges in her life but she is always ready to help others before herself. She is well liked by members of staff, residents of the area and centre users. Lisa is very energetic and has always got a smile on her face.
Customers always receive a warm friendly welcome; I do my best to ensure their visit at the centre is a good one whoever they are. I am full of energy and passion about my work and I feed this into my environment. Nothing is a big deal or too much trouble and I always naturally go beyond the call of duty without thinking about it. I am very much a people person and my customers come first!
A few things I have done to support local people:
– Fed the homeless on Christmas Day at the Salvation Army.
– In my own time, I have set up a job club to help local people find work write letters update CVs etc.
Erin Taheny – PA of the Year
Erin Taheny is Office Manager and PA to three partners at a busy corporate finance firm and as such no longer has much of a life outside of work, however, she loves her job and is delighted all her hard work has paid off. She hopes to write a fictional novel in the near future based on her experiences.
Christine McRitchie – Online Business
Earthwise Trading – Oxfordshire
Christine McRitchie is a busy mum of four who attributes much of her business success to the skills she developed as a parent. Working from home presents its own challenges when your one year old wants to help with the filing! Hard work and a passion for what she does have enabled her business to grow and succeed.
Christine McRitchie started her online business 10 years ago when she faced the frustration of juggling motherhood, a viable career and debilitating childcare costs. However, an entrepreneurial attitude and commitment to environmental issues motivated her to purchase a company selling washable nappies that then allowed her to fit work around her family. Since then, Christine has expanded her business and now operates 4 e-commerce websites including one that sells eco-hygiene products.
Self-taught in HTML during evenings and weekends, Christine manages, updates and maintains her websites and is constantly and consistently developing the sites to include the latest technology and functionality. Customer expectations have changed wildly over the last decade and Christine has embraced social media as part of her e-marketing toolkit with Facebook pages and groups, Twitter groups and Pinterest profiles all engaging and supporting customers. Customers are regularly contacted by email with news and special offers and Christine has recently established shopfronts on Amazon and EBay to respond to changing buying habits as well as offering a mobile site.
In the last 18 months Christine has started manufacturing her own brand of washable nappy – Wonderoos – the majority of which are retailed online through a network of stockists.
Kirsty Davies-Chinnock – Business Category
Professional Polishing Services – Devon
Kirsty has grown her company from humble roots to the largest of its kind in the UK –and it’s still growing. Kirsty’s success is studded with accolades including IoD Director of the Year, Attwood Award, E&S Manufacturing Champion and Ambassador for Inspiring Women. When she isn’t championing female entrepreneurship, Kirsty leads a triple-life as an author, actor and retired rock star.
Benita Matofska – Entrepreneur Category
Compare & Share – Brighton & Sussex
Award-winning Nesta innovator, social entrepreneur, TEDx, speaker, Matofska founded 2 global media companies, produced award-winning TV series, built a global entrepreneurship campaign, leads the Sharing Economy future business models movement.
Tess Stuber – Green Business
Beach Schools South West – Devon
Beach Schools South West is an outdoor learning company dedicated to learning on the shoreline. They provide a service to schools, organisations, holiday clubs, Community groups and families teaching children curriculum based subjects on the beach with an environmental twist. They hope that the passion of their Beach Schools Leaders will transfer to the younger generation and enable them to be more aware of environmental issues that affect our marine environment & to learn to be able to protect.
Jess Jeetly – Business Mother
JEETLY – Birmingham
Jess Jeetly is Founder and MD of JEETLY, the clothing brand for women 5’3 tall or under, featured on TV and celebrities. A qualified consultant optometrist, she is MD of pitchINDIA angel investor network and Chair of IWIB.org Committee.
“Jess created two businesses from scratch without access to a mentor, investor or network of entrepreneurs in her limited time as a working mum to her 3 year old daughter. She used savings from her day job as an optometrist to start her businesses from home. She networked across the UK, flew to Paris to meet fashion buyers and China to meet suppliers.
In its first year:
Jeetly sold in 16 countries & is in talks with John Lewis
TV presenters in the US, UK and Singapore were seen wearing Jeetly (incl Katie Piper, Lorraine Kelly, Lisa Maxwell, Emily Chang, Amrita Rao, Susan Li)
An A-listed Bollywood actress wore Jeetly
Jeetly was listed as Best Petite Etailer by The Independent Newspaper
Jess is speaker for Retail Week and Retail Systems at Expos in London
Jeetly won best fash-tech startup at Tech City 2014
Jess launches first ever Petite Fashion Week in London in March 2014
Jeetly was shortlisted alongside Topshop for Retailweek Awards
Jess appeared on iTV, Huffington Post, Marie Claire, Asiana,Start your Business magazine and others.
Jess created a female empowerment video which had 2 million views
Jess is a speaker at Hot 500, 30Plusstartups promoting female entrepreneurship”
Pippa Latimer-Harris – Small Business
Latimer House – Dorset
Pippa Latimer-Harris owns and runs Latimer House in Christchurch. A Downton Abbey style department store over 3 floors selling unusual, unique, painted furniture, pianos, rocking horses, driftwood mirrors, fabrics and local artisans art creations. In addition the Latimer House Craft school is now open offering creative One day workshops in painted furniture, sewing etc Vintage Birthday & Hen Parties Too!
Pippa Latimer Harris has expanded Latimer House to enormous proportions. Transforming the whole top floor to creating the Latimer House Creative Studios. With now a full time manager and 3 members of staff together with the 7 artisans, Latimer House has 12 ladies in residence creating and selling.
Latimer House was chosen out of literally thousands nationwide to become a finalist and made it through to the top 6 new businesses in England for The Great British Entrepreneur Awards.
Also Latimer House has opened it’s own craft school offering one day workshops in everything from crochet to furniture painting, employing local tutors to teach their specific crafts for the workshops which are proving popular.
If this is what Latimer House can achieve in 2 years from an empty, dead shop then there is no ceiling to Pippa’s other plans for the future!!
Thanks to our fabulous sponsors!
Neolimn Graphic Design
Neolimn Graphic Design
My name is Cerrie Simpson and I produce effective graphic design for nice people, in and around Dorset. Based in Lytchett Matravers, Near Poole, I supply graphic design and print for business start-ups and small sized businesses. A varied portfolio, I can provide a range of creative services including; logo design, branding, print, publishing, advertising, marketing, merchandise, packaging, exhibition display and signage solutions. As a photographer, I can also supply purposeful and reliable imagery for any project; corporate portraiture, product, PR, events, behind the scenes and architecture. GET IN TOUCH for a no-obligation get together.
Barbara Burgess Success Coaching provides rapid, radical change through a unique, evidence based blend of coaching, therapy, science and soul. Specialising in helping business owners and leaders to turn their vision into strategic plans, improve leadership and supervision skills and to raise both them and their teams to higher levels of performance and productivity. To assist you to be your best every day, I can help you with your own levels of stress, confidence or self-esteem, negative thoughts, anxieties and depression, poor habits such as smoking or weight issues or relationship difficulties. Whatever the challenges, empower yourself to succeed.
BBX is one of the world’s largest business communities. We guarantee new customers to all our clients and offer an interest free credit facility. If your business has the ability to take on more customers and you would like to become a preferred supplier please visit www.bbxuk.com
Love Urban Beauty
Love Urban Beauty
Friday the 23rd January, 2015 saw the second year of the Venus Business Women Awards National Finals double in size with 124 regional winners compete[…]